Content curation is essentially a process where someone chooses, categorizes, comments on and showcases the highest quality most relevant information to meet their audience’s needs on a certain issue. The emphasis of curating a content lies on putting a unique commentary into someone else’s existing content or information, because without a unique commentary, it will be considered as aggregating a content and not curating it.
Content curation is a really hot topic with a rapidly increasing popularity such as proven by 95 percent of content marketing incorporating content curation in certain ways. There are two different dominant types of content curation which exist in today’s world. The first one would be social curation, where people gather and together search, organize and share content which will push the best content up to the top, whereas the second one would be expert curation where an individual expert or a small group of experts search on a specific topic and curate various contents for certain audience.
To people who do not understand it really well, content curation may appear to be taking advantage other people’s piece of writing to achieve your own goals. Taking advantage of other people’s work without authorization and proper acknowledgement would be unethical and would constitute as a plagiarism. Curating content is really like curating historical artifacts for a museum – you search for contents that will work amazingly for your niche.
Content curation is also not as simple as one may think. It requires elaborate processes which include selecting a topic, searching for the content, determining stance against or for the gathered contents as well as writing commentaries to support such stance. Even though content curation really helps in terms of composing a post, writers should also bear in mind that their personal views, opinions and personality are not overpowered by the existing content.
Picking a topic is a major step to gain successful curation for your blog. Great content curation should feel personal, should build value as well as efficient. After you have successfully selected a topic for your content, you may wonder where on earth can you get contents to be curated and selected from? Worry no more, because here are three platforms where you can curate content for your blog:
Social Media Platforms
Sharing information has been made easy by the existence of more than 52 social media platforms worldwide and as a consequence, searching content through social media is easy, too. Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ allow content discoveries from various sources. Furthermore, searching your content through social media not only allows examining the social media posts themselves; you can also inspect links that are shared from the social media posts.
Moreover, collecting content from social media platforms is much more convenient with the help of features like a hashtag. A hashtag is a label used in social media to help finding posts or information easier with a certain word following the use of # sign. Hashtag feature is available on almost all social media platforms such as Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. Hashtag simplifies searching process and makes a message to standout amongst other similar ones. In today’s world, information and thoughts are being shared endlessly and as a consequence, it is harder for people to focus on information that matter to them midst of all other digital messiness being posted online.
Last, but by no means least, there are some content curation tools online which you can use to gather valuable contents from social media feed. Using social media platforms for content curation does not always mean that you have to read each of thousands of posts that are available for you each day. There are applications which can help you select top daily posts from social media platforms such as Dave Pell’s Next Draft. There are also tools that you can use to manage the accounts that you follow so that they fall under certain categories and thus it will be easier for you to find them later. Another tool called Hootsuite allows you to subscribe to a Twitter search for certain keyword of your interest, and another amazing one would be Storify which lets users to create their timeline through a collection of contents gathered from social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Aside from its all-encompassing search engine, Google seems to be one of the go-to places online when it comes to curating contents online. There are multiple features of Google which you can use to curate your contents, which include Google News, Google Groups, Google+, and Google Alerts to name a few.
First and foremost, Google Alerts delivers news through your email and through an RSS feed which will help you to keep up with the most recent news of a certain topic. Google Alerts is a specific service that is good for detecting and notifying about content changes. Google Alerts allows you to filter your searches by the help of special modifier features to limit your search to a specific site, file type, daily delivery and amounts to be delivered. Although some people are willing to read all of the most update news and stories delivered to their e-mail, content volume sent by Google Alerts can sometimes be too overwhelming and hence, use the filter for efficiency.
Google News is also a great way to find content from thousands of trusted news outlets. It is a free content aggregator service which Google provides and operates, in which it supervises more than 4500 different news sources worldwide. Google manually vet the sources in Google News so you can be assured that it comes from a reputable, high quality site. As of March 2012, Google News is available in more than 45 countries worldwide with services in 28 languages which include English, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Bahasa Indonesia, Turkish, Thai, Vietnamese, Tamil, and Hebrew amongst others.
Google News collects news articles which appeared in the past 30 days of various news sites and its sources come from a grand total of 25 thousand publishers worldwide with 4500 sources for English language alone. Google News facilitates a method searching and sorting results by publication date and time, and it also allows users to group them. Users can then request form email notifications to be sent to them whenever certain keyword topics show up in the news. Aside from getting email notifications sent to their inbox, users can also opt for RSS and Atom feeds notification.
On top of everything, you can also use Google Groups as a source of your contents. Google Groups may provide interesting content through its forums and discussions which can complement the topic that you previously curated using the usual methods – websites, other blogs, journals and newsletters. Google Groups facilitates people to participate in a community conversation which at the end of the day may be more insightful than single-handed written posts.
Google Groups basically facilitate two kinds of group conversation, namely a threaded conversation and a Usenet group. Google Groups threaded conversations are provided by means of a web interface or through email in form of a mailing list, whereas Usenet groups utilize the Google Groups’ service to be the gateway and unofficial archive operator. Aside from these two group conversation types, people who register for Google Groups can also establish a mailing list archive for e-mail lists that are organized by external mailing list hosting service.
Social Curating and Bookmarking Platforms
A final point, you can always curate your content from various crowdsourcing platforms. Crowdsourcing refers to a process of gathering ideas, services and content by requesting for contributions from people in a certain online community. Basically, it is about getting ideas (or even funding) from a crowd. Crowdsourcing is also becoming more and more popular due to the existence of technological advancements and internet developments, where people can easily ask for another person’s opinion despite the fact that they are separated thousands of miles away.
For this reason, nowadays there are numerous socially curated sites which allow people to constantly find and share fascinating contents on a topic of their choice. You can easily find subtopics that you want to know more about, and then pick the best content that is relevant from the results. Socially curated sites are also comparable to social bookmarking sites, which people can use to save, manage, find and organize bookmarks from various web pages. These kinds of sites make use of the tags and keywords function to allow users to organize their favorite contents, while at the same time allowing other users to view contents that are labeled with a certain tag. Reddit.com and delicio.us are great examples of social bookmarking sites. Social bookmarking in itself actually falls under a bigger category of content curation, whereas it refers to the basic, spontaneous curating activity available in social bookmarking sites and social media platforms through the use of sharing links.